Congress voted Wednesday to approve the latest COVID stimulus relief package. At $1.9 trillion, it’s the largest spending package in American history. The legislation, passed via budget reconciliation, will now head to President Biden for signature on Friday. Stimulus checks are scheduled to begin going out before the end of the month.
The bill approves $1,400 stimulus payments for individuals making up to $75,000 and couples making $150,000. It will also extend weekly $300 unemployment insurance until September. Other highlights include:
- An increased child tax credit in 2021 of $3,600 for children up to age 5 and up to $3,000 for ages 6–17.
- $125 billion for K-12 schools and nearly $40 billion for higher education to help schools reopen.
- More than $25 billion through a Small Business Administration program that would assist restaurants, bars, and other food and drink providers.
- $7.5 billion for vaccine distribution and $48 billion for testing and contact-tracing efforts.
Moody’s Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi recently gave some predictions of what the relief package could mean for the economy – “a booming economy with the pandemic winding down, a boatload of fiscal support” and a labor market on the rebound. This prediction for “global economic recovery in sight” was echoed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
With the prospect of a spending shift as people begin to eat out and travel again, some businesses that survived the pandemic are worried they might face additional hurdles in the coming months. Federal officials acknowledged that annual inflation is likely to jump in the coming months, as the economy picks up, with Zandi warning an inflation comeback could “affect every corner of the market – from big tech to cyclical trades.”
- Want to calculate what you might receive? Use this tool to determine your stimulus check qualification or this tool to determine your child tax credit amount.
- For more on the economy, take a look at The Policy Circle’s Economic Growth Brief.
- Continue to support small and local businesses as more reopenings happen.
Biden plans to nominate the legal academic Lina Khan to an open seat on the Federal Trade Commission, one of the agencies with the most power to enforce antitrust laws.
Facebook asked judge to dismiss antitrust lawsuits by the FTC and state attorneys general, arguing that government enforcers have no valid basis for alleging the social media giant is suppressing competition.
One year anniversary of COVID pandemic and burnout is being classified as a global problem. The Harvard Business Review says, “89% of survey respondents said their work-life was getting worse.”
Interested in diving deeper into these issues? Check out our latest events on Big Tech, censorship, free speech, and more.
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